A round-up of notes on Metro's mobile app – Go Metro Los Angeles. What? You didn't know Metro had a mobile app, go get it — it's FREE!
iPhone software update screen
1. A new version is available for download for iPhones, iPads and Androids. If you already have the app, you should have received an update notice on your respective devices. Customers pointed out the last update had a strange error of displaying arrival times out of order. Metro mobile developers tracked down the bug and quickly fixed it — however, submitting changes to the App Store and waiting for approval is another story. We appreciate all the feedback coming in via the app, emails, Twitter and Facebook.
2. Metro's mobile app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times by mobile users. Last checked — just over 55,000+ downloads for Android devices and 57,000+ downloads for iPhone devices. If you currently have the app, I'd love to hear from you — what do you like and hate about the app? What would you like to see in the future?
3. There are no current plans to build a Windows or Blackberry version. Sorry Windows and BB users — this is not out of preference, but rather budget and resources. Our online metrics indicate both Windows and BB customers make up less than three percent of online usage. BTW: as of last month (Dec 2012), over 50 percent of all web traffic visiting metro.net is coming from a mobile device — almost equally split between Android and iOS.
Fret not, there are alternatives for Windows and Blackberry users — have you tried Metro's mobile website, m.metro.net?
There is a new version of Metro’s mobile app, Go Metro, available for download today in both the App Store at iTunes and Android Play. Here’s a run-down of the revisions for this update:
- Metro’s new schedule data as of December 18.
- A small change to the station detail screen to clarify the direction of the train; see the example below.
- Favorites being duplicated (a bug pointed out to us by customers).
Station detail on iPhone
By now, you should have received update alerts on your device. If you haven’t downloaded the app before, here’s how to download the free app directly from your device.
- Select the App Store and search for ‘Go Metro Los Angeles’ (see the screen grab below).
- Click the ‘Install’ button.
- Select the ‘Play Store’ and search for ‘Go Metro Los Angeles.’
- Click the ‘Install’ button.
Searching in the App Store
Go to Metro’s Mobile Resources on metro.net to learn more about the app and see a list of 3rd party apps built using Metro transit data.
What do you think of the Go Metro app? Do you use it? Is it helpful? Please comment.
You’ve requested it and we’re listening – Metro has added an additional Twitter feed for service updates addressing elevator service alerts. @metroLAelevator will be reserved for announcing elevator outages — and when they’re back in service. Along with @metroLAalerts, these two Twitter feeds are a great resource for customers with mobile devices or online access. In fact, here’s the first tweet:
Both Twitter feeds are maintained by Stephen Tu, Transportation Planner, in the Executive Office of Operations. You may recognize his initials at the end of most tweets: ^ST.
The I-405 is officially liberated and Carmageddon turned out to be CarmaHeaven once again. The speculation and wonderment kept the Twittersphere abuzz all weekend – everyone and their grandmothers tweeted about the phenomenon. We thought it would be fun to round-up the Twitter chatter from famous people (do they drive?). As last year, there seems to be two camps: those enjoying the unique phenomenon and those taking it with a grain of salt. The latter brought out the funnies.
Where do you stand? What did you do this weekend? Let us know — if you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #CarmageddonII.
These famous folks soaked up the CarmaHeaven weekend.
This one scares me a little. GWAR + Carmageddon, hmm?
Doubters, and Meh?
Homer Simpson said Bart and Lisa are his Carmageddon.
Olivia Munn was not impressed. Believe you, me Olivia, it was real.
A new version of Metro’s mobile app for iPhones and Androids is available for download! Go Metro Los Angeles v2.2 is a significant update with new features and technical upgrades. Some of the new features are described below.
Download from App Store Now
Download from Google Play Now
Android & iPhone
Go Metro v2.2 for iPhone
- Mode specific icons for Bus and Rail
Now when you click the Nearby feature, you’ll see separate graphic icons denoting Bus Stops vs Rail Stations.
- “Refresh” arrival times for Bus Stops
Let’s say you’ve favorited your most used Bus Stops (by clicking the Start button in the toolbar). Now by clicking the ‘Refresh’ button, revised Nextrip arrivals times will display on command.
- Station amenities for Rail Stations
There is a new button in the Rail Stations screens that will display detailed information about a station, including the number of bike lockers, bike racks, free parking spots and paid parking spots.
- Save a Trip Planner itinerary and view offline
Now when you save an itinerary, you’ve saved it offline onto the device and may view it without internet connection. This is useful if you are traveling in our Rail system or when internet connection has dropped.
- User Interface updates for all versions
Small user interface updates to make the app more pretty and consistent in the News and More screen
- When installing the app, Android customers can choose to save the app on a SD Card rather than the device
The app is not huge, per se, but the scheduling data that supports the app is. This feature is a response to customers who have older Androids (or devices with tons of apps) that were filling up memory-wise and this option allows the customers to decide where they want to install the app.
- View Stops / Stations nearby me on a map or a list
A feature already in the Android version, a new button allows you to view the closest Metro stops/stations visually on a map or a text list. Some customers are accustomed to viewing a map, some customers appreciate a list.
Check out some screen grabs after the jump!
Hello Source readers, its been a while since I’ve updated you on metro.net happenings and new stuff — well, here they are, enjoy!
Interactive Maps & Infographics!
A few new interactive maps and infographics have been added to Metro’s website, the maps use Google Maps API and are usable on desktop, touchpads and mobile devices.
The Go Metro Interactive Map (an update, not new) has been updated with the new Expo and Orange Line, new stations, revised bus connections and more customer amenities such as parking, bike lockers, and bike racks. The map also links each station to Google Maps and YELP for destinations and recommendations near each station.
Go Metro Interactive Map
A bit late for CicLAvia, but never too late for fun. From one of my favorite blogs, and straight out of Sweden (of course) – Hövding: the hidden, inflatable airbag helmet.
Hövding inflatable helmet - closed
Hövding inflatable helmet - open
Industrial designers, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin began working on Hövding together as their joint master thesis:
The law that had just been introduced in Sweden making bicycle helmets compulsory for children up to the age of 15 had triggered a heated debate on whether it should be extended to include adult cyclists too. To people like us, who wouldn’t be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet, the thought that we might be forced to wear one by law was cause for concern. Producing a bicycle helmet that people would be happy to put on looked like a much better way to go than legislation forcing people to wear one or else. We realised that our industrial design master thesis was the perfect place to find out whether the traditional bicycle helmet could be improved on.
The helmet is currently sold in Sweden. What do you think? Could you see fashion-obsessed Los Angelenos sporting this ‘invisible helmet’?
Here’s video of the helmet in action in a testing environment:
Go Metro app in Google Play
[UPDATE] The Android app update is available for download NOW (!) from Google Play.
As many of you know, the new Go Metro smartphone app recently debuted in the Android store — here’s a Source post about the app’s many fine features. Since then, we’ve received some great feedback and have already submitted an update for the Android app. The update will include:
- Adding the new Expo Rail Line to the transit data
- Allowing the app to install on the SD Card, rather than the mobile device (just the app, not the database. We’ll work on allowing the database on SD card for June — in time for the Orange Line opening).
- Performing an internal storage check before installing the app and database (this will save you a crash when you try to launch the app but there isn’t enough space on your device).
iPhone / iPad
As for iOS, we’re working to get the iPhone version of the app to the public as soon as possible. As of today, we’re still working on final technical revisions with the Apple Store’s technical staff. It’s a day-to-day process, but we hope to have this resolved soon.
Thanks for your interest and enthusiasm and we can’t wait to get you the app!
Go Metro on Android: Nearby feature and Nextrip data integrated into bus stops
[UPDATE] We’re still working on the final technical revisions with the Apple Store’s Tech / QA group. Its a day-to-day process, but we hope to have this resolved soon. Thanks for your enthusiasm and we can’t wait to get you the app.
– Lan-Chi Lam (Metro Web & Mobile Manager)
The wait is almost over — after extensive beta-testing, Metro’s new app is available in Android Play (formerly Android Market), and will be available in the Apple App Store next week. The new app – built from the ground-up – is called Go Metro Los Angeles, and is available for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.
Metro’s first app was a chance for the agency to dip its toe into smartphone technology. This app, however, is a full-fledged effort to marry technology to transit and to make it easier for people to quick get the information they need to travel around town.
Full feature description and more screen shots can be seen on metro.net, but here are some highlights:
- The app is free and is available for download NOW(!) in Android Play, and the Apple App Store next week.
- The new app was built new from the ground up and will run on Android devices running OS 2.1 and up. On the iPhone and iPad, iOS 3.1 and up is required.
- The new app can quickly access your location via your phone’s GPS and then show you the closest bus and rail stops. Want the phone to show you, for example, transit stops within 100 feet, 300 or 500 feet of your current location? Just select the distance in the app’s preferences.
Go Metro on Android: Nextrip bus arrivals and scheduled rail arrivals
- Tap a transit stop on your map and the app will show you Nextrip real-time bus arrival information (if you’re on a cellular or wi-fi network) or scheduled rail arrival times. Not on a cellular network or wi-fi? You still will get a list of scheduled arrival times. By the way, we anticipate that Nextrip real-time rail arrival times will be available later this year.
- Plan a trip from your location. Metro’s Trip Planner is integrated into the new app. Users can also “favorite” an itinerary.
Go Metro on Android: Plan a trip from your location and select an alert
- Users can download up to 170 different maps of bus and train routes as well as a bike map — and the maps can be used even when you don’t have any kind of internet connection. If your downloaded map has been updated by Metro, the app will send you an alert so that you can re-download the map within the app.
- The app allows users to set up and receive alerts for Metro bus and rail, as well as road closures. Service Alerts, Planned Advisories, Destination Discounts, Fare information, Customer Center locations and Lost & Found info are integrated in the app. Alerts and notifications may be turned on and off in the app’s preferences — it’s up to you to decide what you want to receive.
- Users can save a transit line, bus stop/train station, map or itinerary for fast access. It’s easy to remove and edit your favorites list in the settings part of the app.
Metro wants your feedback and comments to make the app better. Please use our online feedback form. You can also use the app to email Metro’s tech team any bugs you find — this can be done in the “More” section of the app. The app automatically collects your app and OS version to help Metro troubleshoot the problem.
iPhone screen shots after the jump. Continue reading
Photo by billaday via Flickr
In a recent NPR – Marketplace story, travel writer Patrick Symmes talks about an experiment he’s conducting with bikes and GPS trackers — you see Symmes has had seven bikes stolen, and he’d had enough! In a lengthy write-up for Outside magazine, the journalist attaches GPS trackers to ‘bait’ bikes planted across San Francisco and Portland (think LoJack). The man waits to catch his thief.
Full disclosure: I am by no means a biker, and I wouldn’t cry if my current bike got stolen (its a hoopty). But the story left me wondering if this isn’t a business opportunity for some brilliant, enthusiastic, bike entrepreneur? Necessity is the mother of invention, so I ask you Los Angeleno bikers:
- How ‘high-tech’ have you gone to secure your bike?
- What is the price point of a bike where you would invest in a ‘security’ system?
Though the author’s experiment leaves him with mixed results, he’s remains optimistic, stating – “This is a war of attrition.”
Like the police, we can and must resist, even when it’s futile. I’m still pimping around Portland on Bike Six, my little black IRO, with 11 pounds of chain wrapped around my waist and hex nuts on my wheels. All the partial solutions—a national bike registry, better serial numbering, more secure parking, GPS trackers disguised like bells and reflectors—are getting better. We aren’t going away.
Reminder: Metro offers Bike Lockers for rent in many Metro Rail and Orange Line stations. Check our Bike Metro section for full info on Locker Rentals, Bike Maps, and the Bicycle Roundtable.
Listen to the audio after the jump…